Okay, so I have a really wild and funny story for you all. This is going to be a lengthy story. So fair warning, you're going to have to put your reading glasses on, and you might want to go ahead and get your bathroom break out of the way before you begin to read.
So first the prologue. Like most people here I really enjoy pinball and I want to have as big and as diverse collection as I can possibly get. I also have been in the market for a simple beater game to play. A game that isn't too complex with rules and mechs, but still fun to play, and hopefully easy to maintain. At the Wheeling expo last year I played Sinbad, a simple but really fun game. It also coincided with Papa releasing their tutorial of it, so I also knew how to play it, and so I was able to impress my father when I got multiple replays on the machine. Just a fun game. And I really like the art package on it. The cab art is good for the era, and the backglass is really good for the era, and the playfield with Patrick Wayne's face is just okay... I also am a HUGE fan of Ray Harryhausen, I own some of his books and ALL(And I mean all) of his movies. Love them to death. So ever since Wheeling I have had an eye out for a Sinbad. And we all know they're pretty reasonably priced.
Well, I had to wait for my accountant to do my taxes for this year. And since my side-business really took off, I was afraid I was going to have to pay a lot of money into it. But, turns out I was mistaken, and I found myself with a good chunk of money that I had saved up, just itching to be spent. So I decided why not buy the Sinbad. A few weeks prior I saw 2-3 go on the market and sadly where sold before I got my taxes done. So I was a bit bummed about that. But, I saw a nice one on offerup for 1k. A bit pricey. But, I thought. Well maybe I can get it a bit cheaper.
Turns out, he had set the option to where you cannot make a cheaper offer. So I was stuck with just the 1k offer. So I put it in. Chatted with the person eventually. And then I called him. This is where the story takes a weird turn. So, it turns out he claims everything works great with the machine. He only plays it for 10-15 minutes once every few weeks because he is afraid he will break it. He didn't know what tilt means. And when I explained to him that tilt penalized players for aggressive nudging, he told me ohhh he doesn't do that. And I was like you don't nudge. And he was like yeah, you'll break the machine. And I was like, nudging is a part of pinball. You have to nudge. And he just wouldn't have it, and told me no-one nudges his machine.
Then on the phone he tells me a few interesting things. One of them being that he had rollers on the legs instead of the casters... And this really flabbergasted me. So I asked him again what he meant. I told him you don't want your pinball on wheels. Its just not good and probably made it hard to keep level. Telling him this was like speaking to a brickwall.
The next thing he told me. Not to worry he still had the casters for the legs, along with spare plastics. The bit about spare plastics is important and we'll get into that later. And so then the next thing he tells me. Is it had all the original boards replaced and is operating on a brand new board that gives it the skill shot and special bonus score. He didn't say the bit about the special, but I know the board he is talking about. So I was very excited about that. As I think that alone is worth paying the little bit extra cost. As I think 1000 for a Sinbad is a bit high. And coupled with the spare plastics, I figured it balances out nicely.
So the soonest I could make it to his house was three days later. I don't own a truck, and I also need someone to help me lift and move the crap. So I told him that. And he was okay... Now the day I went over to see the machine. I did ask him to put up a peace sign with his hands in front of the machine send me the picture. This was to just verify that the machine exists and that he has it. So my brother and I went to his place to check out hte machine.
First thing I notice. The machine is up the stairway of hell. High and skinny steps, with a nasty lip on them that would prevent from using the dolly. My brother claims that the stairs and doors were for dolly... I don't believe that. As we did get the pin down the stairs.. Albeit almost crushing my brother in the process... But, more on that later, as I am getting ahead of myself. In his house/apartment first thing I noticed was his huge dog barking. Turns out through conversation. Its a dog breed mix that is banned in the us, and he got via the dark web. Also, there was a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm beeping its low battery warning. This went on the entire hour I was in his apartment. I don't know who doesn't change those right away. If I am awakened in the middle of the night by those infernal beepings I get up and change the blasted buggers. So that was a weird vibe.
Now... This is where the disappointment starts to set in. The machine is not in very good shape... Cab is scuffed and dinged... Backglass is about an 8 out of 10, with some minor flaking. So that is in great condition, but at best its near mint. The playfield is fine, but has a lot of weathering in multiple spots and absolutely filthy. But, the good news about the playfield as Patrick Wayne's face was in great condition. Which means the whole playfield should be very easy to restore or at least touch up. So its a bit battered, but if I'm giving an honest rating for a players machine. I'd say its good conditon for a players machine. He wanted to say it was an 8 out of 10. But, I'd say maybe a 6 out of 10... But, really with the upcoming issues I will be discussing a 4 or 5 out of 10.
Plastics were in decent shape. But, I didn't closely inspect them right away. As I thought they were new and the ones not replaced. I would have spares for. So before I had him plug in the machine. I wanted to open up the backglass and the coin door and inspect some things. He didn't want that. And was constantly saying. Be careful. Be careful. You're going to damage something. I told him, I needed to open up and inspect everything to make sure it all worked. So while looking inside the coin door. I notice that he didn't install the pinball inside the tilt mech. And then I actually found the spare unused pinball. I did explain what it was used for, but he once again didn't understand what I meant. So I gave up trying to explain it to him. He thought it was a spare unused ball.
Also, I wanted to see how the backbox came off. As this is the kind of backbox that doesn't rotate.It pops off. So I was checking out the board. And then I noticed I had to take the connectors off. So I closed the lid and said to him. Lets play a game.
So while it boots. He takes the time to tell me how the machine will take time to boot... I was like, yes... I am aware of the booting process. The pin boots and he once again shows me how to add a credit, and also start a game. Telling me the game is 4 players. Of course I'm aware of all these things. So the game isn't leveled properly or at the right pitch. Surprise, surprise... But, actually on the first ball I hit basically all the shots you can, and roll overs and drop targets. Really good first ball... Flippers were decent strength. Ball moved slow and sluggish. But, playfield was filthy and again not at proper pitch. I didn't get to reset the drop targets on first ball(it wasn't that good, I was just one away though). But, of course they reset on every ball. So I was happy with how the game played and scored... I didn't need to play another game... But, something told me, this is a guy who wouldn't have allowed me to play multiple games... Which again... Just weird. I really think its okay to play 15-25 minutes just to make sure their are not any weird surprises. I don't think that is out of line... But, I could tell this guy didn't even want me to finish up all 5 of my balls...
So... All this weirdness aside. I said to him... Okay.. Can you get the casters and the spare plastics out. And he got a box out. It was empty and then he told me, ohhh man I got kids... I guess I don't know what happened to them. I was like can you look for them real quick. And he's like... I don't know where they would be. So then I was like okay... Well new legs or casters are going to cost me money, to buy and to get shipped. Can we take off a couple of bucks for that. Seems reasonable. He wasn't having it.
And I guess I should have just walked right then and there. But, I actually like the machine. And he lived within an 10 minute drive of my house. So, I thought to myself. Not the hardest pickup ever. And since I didn't have to pay for shipping, and the fact that the new board was in it, and that the displays were all vibrant and working... I was like... Okay... It might be a bit overpriced. But, really its a good deal and I don't have to drive 300 miles to pick one up. So I shrugged that off and decided to pay full price. He did offer to help move it out. So, and that actually probably did prevent it from crushing my brother and crashing down the flight of stairs. So that did have a good outcome.
Now, throughout this my brother and him were talking. And he kept saying about how this was a great deal and that was listed on Ebay for 2,500 dollars. I had to tell him, that was an ebay listing. And ebay prices on pinball machines are insane and nowhere near the real price. That the real price for a sinbad is around 700-1000 dollars. he then told me that this was a rare machine with only about 850 produced. I told him, he was mistaken and about 12,000 were produced. He said no... He checked online. I said... Yes, you say the production numbers for the em version of this machine .Which was less than 1,000. But, this is a solid state and that had a run of 12,000. And again it was like talking to a brick wall...
Then he was like. Do you know they had a movie about this pin. I told him yes, and then he said he watched the movie and he thought it sucked... And I was thinking to myself. You don't know anything about pinball. That's fine. But, don't you dare ever disparage a Ray Harryhausen film... Especially one where Dr. Quinn is naked in... Just a fun tid bit, for people to know... What was worse my blow hard brother chimed in and said the movie sucked too. Not sure if he knows which movie it even is... To be fair to my brother... Yes, he has most definitely seen the movie, but I doubt he would remember it. And lastly Sinbad and The Eye of The Tiger is the worst of the Ray Harryhausen Sinbad trilogy. My personal favorite is Golden Vovage as that I think has the most charming Sinbad, Tom Baker(the 4th doctor in a great evil role. In fact he got the job of the 4th doctor in many ways because of that film), and lastly it has one of my favorite scream queens Caroline Munro... Ohhhh... I think she is so foxy...But, I also really enjoy the 7th voyage of Sinbad as well. Love the Dragon Cyclops fight at the end, and of course the Skeleton fight. Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, is just really boring and plodding. Not much action or excitement. I think this was due to the fact that Ray had to animate 3 different creatures that happened to be in a great deal of the movie, and hence not a lot of time to put in bigger action sequences. Because you had the Trog creature, the monkey prince, and the evil woman's henchmen mechanical monster thing. All looked great, but I think at the cost of putting in other monsters to fight, as he just didn't have the time to animate them. So they were left out. Because the action in the movie, when it did happen was pretty dang good. So I was pissed about them bashing the GREAT Ray Harryhausen.
So again. Despite the fact that he didn't have the casters for the legs, and he didn't have the spare plastics. I decided to buy the machine. And one thing I did think about and notice when I got home. While the plastics are in good shape, one is slightly damaged and broken and he claimed that the guy replaced them all, and had the left overs included. Well... All the plastics had the same amount of fade and wear, and he would have replaced teh broken one, and that wouldn't have broken any time soon if it was new. So, I am pretty sure the guy lied about both having the spare plastics, and the casters for the leg. And gave me a bs story.
So now I want to take the head off of it to make it easier to transport down the hellish stairs. Well. The guy is like whoa what are you doing. You're disconnecting the wires from the board. I'm like... Yes... So I can take the head off. Well. This head takes 4 bolts to get off, and I didn't know how to get the ground wire off. Couldn't figure it out. And the guy was freaking out. Even though I already paid him the full amount. So, I really didn't have time to look and figure it out. Plus I only had my wrenches. As my brother forgot his ratchet set, that I reminded him 5 times to bring. So we wound up not takign the back box off.
That is on me. I should have researched it better before I went over there... But, I thought I would have time to take it off and not be rushed. Again. I don't have any pins from that era, so I wasn't readily knowledgeable on how to take it off. My fault and I will admit it.
So we decided. F--- it. Lets take teh legs off and just carry it. I did have some straps. But, the guy was like. No those won't help down the stairs. Only get in the way... Well, we shouldn't have listened to him. Because they most certainly would have helped.
Well, we also had to take his door off the hinges. Which I actually had to do... Don't know why... It was his house. But, okay.... So then my brother who is almost 6'4'' and 300 pounds(not all muscle, but he's strong) and I'm 5'10... But, 203 and I'm pretty strong too. Not as strong as I was 5 years ago... But, such is life... Anyway... My brother says he'll go take the bottom I'll carry the top. But, the problem is... When going down stair. There is nothing for me to grip and I can't get that low, and walk how they need me to. So I told them. We're going to have to slide it on the stair. At first they said no... But, then they realized I was right. Now, if we used those damn straps, I could have easily used those straps to grip and took so much weight of my brother. And kept it nice and level. But, alas no. So we wound up sliding it down the stairs. With it scraping both the cab and the stairs... Again, remember the head is still on.
And it was during the repositioning of it to slid it down, that it almost crushed my brother. But, the guy was behind him and helped him regain control, but it did whack him good in the face. So again as I said before, despite all the weirdness, teh guy did help out and save the machine from being crushed. We get it to the bottom. To where now its time for me to pick it up, and we do so, and transport it to the truck's bed easy enough. But, I know I was worn out from it, and so I really felt bad, because my brother had to be feeling like 10 times worse than I was, if not more so.
After my brother and him finish chatting. We say our goodbyes and we take it to my house. I open the doors. And I set a big 10 roll of paper towel packages. This is for me and my brother to set the machine down on. Again. The head is still on. So we can't set it upright, nor can we use the dolly that he had brought. But, it was easy to get into my house. We didn't have a problem going up the stairs at all. We set it on the paper towels. Put the crappy legs with the wheels on(because I don't have any spare legs and will order the parts tomorrow that I need).
We go to play a few games. And it appears one switch isn't working. But, all in all still functions fine. So after treating him to a dinner at hooters(his choice not mine). I went back home. Opened up the playfield. The glass is in good shape, but it was filthy and it did have some slight damage in the form of chipping in the upper right corner. Not a big deal. As its just minor. So lift the playfield. And I clean the roll over switches with some paper. And I just checked the action in the wires and the wiring. All seemed good. So I lowered the playfield after checking the rest of it.
The next thing I did was wax the game. It was filthy. Really, really filthy. Just dirt all over. I gave it a nice wax and polish. And then I started the game up. With the glass off. And I tested all the switches. They all work... I'm not 100% certain that the scoring is always working fine... As one switch was always seeming to score 5,000 even when the light wasn't lit. And the light bulb wasn't burnt out. In fact. From my checking. I think only one light in the back box is all that is burnt out in the machine... And I do have a few spares. So that is good.
Now the machine still isn't balanced and pitched properly. But, with the freshly waxed playfield the ball is much zippier. My brother was complaining about the flipper strength, and I told him not to worry about it. That it most likely was the playfield and not the flippers. He didn't believe me... Well, turns out I was right.
So... All in all a very weird experience. Not the weirdest. And While I didn't get the best pin ever, or the best condition. I think its in fair enough condition. And I'm happy with my purchase and I do plan on restoring it. No villains in this story. As I don't think the guy was really a bad guy, just really strange and didn't know anything about pinball. And yes... My brother and I acted like newbs with the backbox. But, in the future when I move it. I most certainly will remove the backbox. Just having that guy breathing behind my back, freaking out, was just annoying to where I said f--- it.. Let's do it and get out, cos I'm tired of his freakouts and the beeping of his firealarm. My brother did tell him. Hey man. You're bad. We break it, we bought. Don't worry... But, he still did...
I think though. One thing that I learned is in the future I will always ask for images of the persons stairs. That way I will be able to tell how much of a pain in the butt it will be. Honestly I don't mind using the dolly as I said. But, I couldn't use it because of these stairs... So, to prevent similar situations in the future, I will always ask for photos of that. Again its live and learn. But, really I'm really happy about the pin I got. And I know its going to stay in my collection for a long time.
So that is the story. If you read this far. I wish I could reward you with something better than just my thanks for reading. Alas I can't, but thank you for reading and you have a nice day.